Tag Archives: Used Furniture Review

“In the House of Flying Words” by Juan Carlos Reyes

13 Oct

Posted by Theresa J. Beckhusen

Written by Mirna Palacio Ornelas

When I finish reading something, I usually talk about the piece for days. The thing is, though, Juan Carlos Reyes’ “In the House of Flying Words” in Used Furniture Review has left me at a loss of, well, words. He’s taken them all and carefully sculpted a dizzying image that leeches the air from your lungs. I was only left with “holy shit.”

It starts out with a pretty gruesome description of what words can and will do to your infant daughter, attacking her in her cradle until there’s only a little skeleton with a bib left. That’s the entire first paragraph. Reyes makes words out to be these living things, while still referring to them in a metaphorical sense. These words are very much a real threat to the sleeping baby, something that will physically harm her when given the chance. They lie in the shadows, waiting for their chance to pounce. They plan their attacks, and throw themselves at the house to get to the sleeping child. That being said, the flying words in this piece are still only words. How much can words possibly hurt, right?

Reyes continues to use words in this sense for the rest of the piece, coming back time and again to demonstrate how much they will mutilate your daughter throughout her life.

“They’re coming as the always do, they arrive, and you will do everything to protect her but they will leave a mark.”

Aside from the vast vocabulary Reyes uses, his sentences also have the effect that is often seen in poetry. It’s essentially a poem, but it’s not a poem. He blends his phrases together, stretching the sentences to just below their breaking points in order to make them house raw emotions. The words meld into each other, and you don’t realize how the words weigh against your sternum until you see that period at the end.

“You watch her sleep, the night passing quickly and measuring evening and words still unborn, those moons carrying slurs suggestions and ridicules, all those jabbing words looming huddled down street, primed by the garden, crowding parking spaces like impending tanks on the night of shattered glass.”

All fancy words and form aside, Reyes uses this piece to reach the bone-biting truth. Words do hurt. And they’re not something you can control, not like physical violence. We have no defense against words, no matter how hard we try. We have to stand by as words hurt our loved ones, or worse yet, while they distance themselves.

Reyes’ grammatically incorrect sentences work for the humanity of the piece, but they also make it hard for the reader keep up. It might be a minor issue, but it is also the only one. Even then, it can be easily solved by reading the piece out loud. Reyes’ words anchor themselves in your gut, leaving your head light from panic, and making it more than worth the trouble.

The distanced tone in this piece is often found in his other pieces. Reyes keeps readers on edge with this creepy little trick. The gruesome details that he embeds in them help achieve that ambiance as well. There’s always an off-putting event amidst a seemingly normal setting; this is almost a branch of magical realism. Almost.


Mirna Palacio Ornelas is a Vouched Indy intern and is currently a junior at the University of Indianapolis. She’s a poetry writer that dabbles in the publishing world. Mirna spends most of her time in the dark with Captain America looping in the background on the lowest volume and light settings while collecting boxes of steakhouse dinner rolls on her desk.

The fiction of how I feel is still being told every day.

20 Feb

In my own therapy, I have been working on focusing on the activities and outlets that let me best relieve stress and sincerely consider my decisions better. “Aokigahara Mistake” by Jimmy Chen at USED FURNITURE REVIEW reminds me how much of a struggle such searching can be, how small I really am, how despite that life is heavy, man, so heavy to hold.

When my therapist encouraged me to draw again, for the fourth or so consecutive time, met by reluctance and deflated weariness of art in general, he didn’t think his patient’s first attempt would be of a suicide in Aokigahara, a forest in Japan also known as the “Sea of Trees,” the second most popular place for suicide, next to the Golden Gate Bridge. I end in speaking of myself in the third person because my chronic depression often feels like watered-down fiction, a played out novel whose mental vernacular is predictable and nauseating, the hero still waiting for a pouty heroine to enter.

Read the whole thing here. IT IS RAD.

Cannot Be Loved.

6 Sep

Over at the always powerful Used Furniture Review, Lindsay Hunter reads “Sobriquet” by Justyn Harkin. Reading the text is one thing of gut-punch, but the vibrations, the speed, the enunciations in Hunter’s reading elevate this piece to stick-in-me strength.


SSM: “Lock Box” by Kim Chinquee

18 May

When we cleaned out my mother’s house, we had to wear masks, bandannas over our faces, the smell and the grime and the dirt in the air was just too much. There were boxes yet unpacked from the move, 5 years before–stuffed with old copies of Redbook dating back to 1979, canned goods expired a year or 2 past, broken calculators, candlesticks wrapped in newspaper.

There is a dirty business to cleaning up after one’s life. There are bills left unpaid. There are spoiled leftovers growing cultures in the refrigerator. There are arrangements to be made–there is the word, “arrangements.” There are memories long and sometimes better left forgotten.

I was in the other room, checking his pockets, putting clothes in boxes. I wanted to wear his shirts, though they smelled like something bad I couldn’t remember. The flowered one he’d worn once on vacation. I remembered him in it, or maybe it was pictures. I was sure then, he didn’t want to be there, at the petting zoo, feeding deer and horses. I touched his clothes as if they were him, alive, as if I could have touched him.

Read the full story at Used Furniture Review.

Parker Tettleton at Used Furniture Review

10 Apr

Man, Parker Tettleton writes poems and I look at them and I lean my head to the right and I lean my head to the left and when I straighten up, I sigh, like OHHHYEAH.

These poems at Used Furniture Review equal good example.



25 Jan

Used Furniture Review is so cool. Somehow, I missed these poems by Corey Mesler. Shaking-in-my-shoes tight, straight-forward goodness.